Another rare dandelion that we‰۪ve taken under our wing. Rubber Root, alternately known as Russian or Kazakh Dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz) is a perennial dandelion with origins in the Kazakhstan / Uzbekistan regions. The plants are generally smaller than Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum albidum (two other varieties we offer in our catalog), the leaves a thicker and a paler green, but their graceful yellow flowers are still recognizably dandelion.
This dandelion species has a dark cultural history that dates back to Stalinist Soviet Russia, where scientists first discovered the latex content contained in the plant roots could be used to produce natural rubber. Contemporary plant breeders have rediscovered the plant with the ultimate aim of breeding improved plants that can provide a commercially viable alternative to both natural (most commonly produced from Hevea brasiliensis or rubber tree) and synthetic rubbers. Today, Ford Motor Company and Ohio State University are presently conducting joint research with the aim of commercializing it to replace synthetic car parts such as cupholders and interior trim. Researchers in Europe have already produced prototype dandelion car tires.
We offer Taraxacum kok-saghyz seeds to our customers primarily as dandelion enthusiasts who understand that dandelions play an important ecological on diversified small scale farms like ours. We have grown plants here for the past three years in our Mediterranean climate, starting them in seedling cells and growing them out their first few true leaves prior to transplanting. We‰۪ve found Taraxacum kok-saghyz grows well here if sown in the mid-winter for an early spring transplanting. We‰۪ve planted them in the mid summer, and while they survived, it seemed like the plants generally weren‰۪t as vital.
60 days to flower from transplant. Perennial.
Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.